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Thread: Feeling Bad about the Past

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave SweetiePig's Avatar
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    Feeling Bad about the Past

    So, I have always felt bad about this. It's been about 6 years and I constantly think about it. Even more now than ever, I feel horrible... I didnt mean for it to happen, but I know I was probably the cause. Im not really sure how to go about the way I feel. Is it my fault? Could I of helped what happened?

    It all began when I started volunteering at a family owned pet store when I was 13. I LOVED that pet store. The owner took pride in his animals and yes, he sold animals but he didnt order them from mills or breeders, he bred them himself and only bred what he could sell. His animals all lived happily in huge cages with plenty to do. He had everything from 20ft long snakes to talking parrots to sugar glider to guinea pigs, he had everything! I always loved coming in to volunteer, I was the person who fed the animals and cleaned out there cages, those were the jobs no one wanted to do but I loved it! It gave me a chance to interact with the animals and play with them. The guinea pigs were my favorite. I'd come in sometimes just to see them!
    One of the days I was in the store helping out, I was in the middle of cleaning the guinea pigs cage. I had to take each pig out and put into a spare cage while I cleaned it out. One of the pigs started chattering at me when I picked it up, so I hurried and put him back down, before I could even pull my hand away, he turned around and took a whopping chunk of skin out of my hand! The gash was huge and was gushing blood, and when I say gushing, I am not exaggerating either! It was pouring into the cage and onto the floor, I hurried to the back of the store so I wouldnt be around customers, I was in tears. The blood wouldnt stop. The store owner called my parents to come get me to take me to the hospital, yes, it was that bad of a bite.
    At the hospital, they had to clean it out with this horrible stuff that stung, the had to pack it and stitch it.
    Sadly the bite went so deep that it ripped threw some of my nerves and I have nerve damage in my hand to this day, I can not feel my wrist or top part of my hand. Its numb.
    When I went back to the pet store, I seen that the piggy who had bitten me was gone. I asked where he was, which I wish I wouldnt have done, because they had told me they fed him to the snake because he had bitten me.
    I was in tears! I knew it wasnt the guinea pigs fault because he had always been so sweet! What had happened to make him bite me so bad? Did I pick him up wrong? Was he just in a bad mood? I dont know! And to this day, I feel as though it is my fault that poor piggy had to die.
    That pig lost his life and all I got is a scar and a few nerve problems. It wasnt worth him dying over

  2. #2
    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    Oh gosh, don't feel bad. Generally guinea pigs don't bite but on occasion there are reasons why they might. If they are startled or have mites, they might nip. I had one pig, Peppy who was generally a sweet pig and NEVER bit but one day I was holding him and something must have startled him because he bit my index finger at the knuckle. Their teeth are so small so you would think it wouldn't have been a big cut but unfortunately, he bit into an artery which DID bleed - A LOT! Despite the bleeding, I put him down gently and tended to the cut.

    So you just never know. The pet store was wrong for feeding the pig to the snakes. They aren't like dogs that bite. It doesn't make them vicious or wild.

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    Cavy Champion Hhbean's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    Sweetiepig, you did nothing wrong, piggies bite sometimes for unknown reasons and your not a mind reader! It's not your fault, they are the ones that made that choice. There were other options and THEY chose that one. I hope your able to forgive yourself.

  4. #4
    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    I agree it is very sad that the pet store owner made that decision. But that was his decision and not yours. He obviously didn't know as much about the pets he sold as you are giving him credit for. That wasn't your fault. As I was reading it, I thought you were going to say something like you threw the pig against the wall in surprise or shock or something and it died. But you didn't.

    One day, in my early rescue days, I put my hand in the cage (stupid) right after breaking up a fight between a couple of boars. The still agitated and angry boar interpreted my movement as a threat and lunged out and bit the tip of my right-hand index finger, right in that inside crease on the last section of the tip. Ripped it open. A real gusher, almost passed out. Had to go the doctor for that one. And to this day, I have a constant kind of tingle in the tip of my right-hand index finger and basically no feeling. Not a good thing for the most important finger area to be missing feeling. Yours is worse, but I can definitely relate to it and feel for you.

    It was probably just a combination of the action of picking him up or a mood he was in, or possibly some other idiot (customer) in the store that had previously screwed around with him inappropriately that caused his reaction. The latter being the most likely.

    So, personally, I would remove your child's rose-colored glasses memories of your view of the pet store and forgive yourself. I think that's how you move on. It wasn't you that killed that pig and it wasn't your fault. The fact that the pet store owner even fed a guinea pig to a snake is another big fat problem. The fact that he told you he did it is another one. Not a kind man. Sorry. Forgive yourself and just commit to understanding better the whole pet store business thing and work to make improvements or enlightenment there. I think that's how you honor the memory of the poor little guy and you heal from it and become a better person for it. I have a few of my own types of incidences in my life like that and that's what I've learned over the years. And here we all are.

    Oh and I think it takes some courage to talk about that kind of incident.
    Last edited by CavySpirit; 09-15-11 at 05:35 pm. Reason: grammar

  5. "Thank you, CavySpirit, for this useful post," say these 4 members:

    guineapikhs (09-15-11), OllieandFriends (09-15-11), SweetiePig (09-15-11), thecomfycat (09-15-11)

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    Cavy Slave SweetiePig's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    I wanted to thank you guys for you thoughts on this. I especially wanted to thank you cavyspirit for understanding, this is a hard subject for me to talk about as its always something that has been kept deep inside my heart and it hurts. I take what you said serious and I will try and do what you said..one little step at a time

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    You know, I meant to add this, but initially didn't want to. No matter what anyone says about it not being your fault, and knowing intellectually that it isn't, I don't think those kinds of hurts ever really go away. Mine haven't. When you are involved in the death of an animal and you care deeply about animals, it's always there. For me, it doesn't even fade with time. I wish it did. For me, it feels like a little black mark on my soul.

    But that's why it's even more important (I think), for people like us, to find a way to make a difference as much as possible so that it wasn't a wasted life. That's what really helps in the long run.

  8. "Thank you, CavySpirit, for this useful post," says:

    thecomfycat (09-15-11)

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    Cavy Slave kacie's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    When my sister in law was 11 she made friends with a cow that she named Chewy and she'd spend hours in the paddock patting and feeding him. One day, Chewy was shipped off to the slaughter factory and my sister in law bawled her eyes out when she found out that Chewy had become someones dinner... Unfortunately, some people just don't value the lives of animals as much as they do humans... It's not your fault that piggy was punished in such a horrible way - and I'm quite sure that you have treated all of your piggies with much love, care and affection since that incident!

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    For every 10 people that roll their eyes when I talk about adopting rather than buying or the abuses of petstores, I like to think that there is at least one who thought twice about it and learned something from what I was saying or that maybe a seed was planted in their mind about it.

    How many times have we heard, "It won't make a bit of difference!", "You can't change anything" or "Pet store pigs need homes too!"? Many will scoff but somewhere in the mix will be the one who asks questions and who will join the campaign.

    Sadly, we live in a society that doesnt put much value in the welfare of small animals but we can be their voices and we can make a difference. As CavySpirit said, if at the end of our life, we look back and measure whether we made a difference, simply by being the voice for the voiceless (or wheek-ful), we know it was not a life wasted.

  11. "Thank you, CavyMama, for this useful post," says:

    suzilovespiggie (09-15-11)

  12. #9
    Moderator / Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Inle_Rabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling Bad about the Past

    *hugs* It's not your fault guinea mama. I'm not as skilled with words as the other people who have replied but you were a child and the pet store owner did more than one cruelty that day by telling you what he did to the pig. It wasn't your fault the pet store owner had other options he choose not to take them. Just know it isn't you fault.

  13. "Thank you, Inle_Rabbit, for this useful post," says:

    Wildcavy (09-15-11)

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